15 minutes ago, the house was full of people, sounds and laughter. Now it is just Debbie and I. We are in the kitchen cleaning up and there is an unusual lack of noise around us, save for the water running in the sink. I feel my heart drop an inch or two, but I am certain that it has dropped less than Debbie’s heart. I am standing in unfamiliar grounds. Is this foreshadowing of things to come?
21 years! That is correct, for 21 years, our lives have had a focus. Prior to that time, we were newlyweds, enjoying our time spent together, learning about each other and figuring out how our lives will be as a single unit as opposed to two single people. Then came the happy news that Debbie was pregnant. Boy, were we happy! Almost two years later, we find out that the stork would be paying us a second visit. For 21 years, we have spent time thinking about our kids, preparing for our kids, nurturing our girls, and spending as much time as possible with our children. Once they leave the house, it is time to turn our attention on what we did before they showed up, that was my thoughts. We have heard the stories from parents that became empty nesters how sad they were. I did not believe them. For 21 years, Gab and Bec’s presence was with us every waking moment and now they were gone.
Tonight there were two other families with us. With college commitments being made, one couple is starting the first freshmen experience next year, and the other about to become empty nesters with us. We talked about this situation together for the first time. I looked at Debbie, and then at Gab (who was home this weekend) and Bec – this is my family. A half hour later, everyone left, including Bec to bring Gab back to school and to return the following day. We were alone…the house was quiet. We both noted that this was what was in the future for us. We cleaned, we talked, we watched TV and we waited to make sure the girls got to Hartford safely. The house was unusually quiet. I love my wife, who is my best friend, and look forward to spending time with her. But, I will miss the girls.
Enjoy the time with your kids while they live at home, for the time passes quickly before they reach the age where they spread their wings and leave the nest.